Interview: Meet DYBLI – Collaborative Offline-first Software Framework

Meet DYBLI – A team which envisions a flexible and interoperable software framework for building secure, server-less, and offline-first collaborative applications with the Solid Protocol. Learn more from this interview with Normand Overney.

Can you briefly introduce yourself and your team?

We founded the company from a group of master students from the computer science department at the University of Basel, Switzerland. The founding members are Normand Overney, Niluka Piyasinghe, Fabrizio Parrillo. Normand Overney has a background in bioinformatics and has worked for many Biotech companies working on data analysis and software development. Niluka works with lower-level languages, embedded systems, and manages our external software team. Fabrizio is currently working on his PhD in computer networking at the University of Basel and has the domain knowledge for the technologies ranging from distributed systems to Linked Data.

What is your motivation to work in the data portability field?

We are passionate about creating software which is flexible and collaborative. With increasing demands for greater data sharing and verifiability, we see an opportunity to expand the data portability domain with the integration of pre-existing tools into a developer friendly interface.  There is a huge potential for optimization and with every increasing demand for security and governmental regulations the field is bound to develop rapidly.  We are excited to be a part of a fast-paced domain which pushes others to innovate.

In simple words, what challenges does your project address?

The challenge we are addressing is data interoperability and compatibility. We have built a backend solution, Dybli Core, which allows for developers to save structured data without conflicts and also keeping track of the who, what, and when.  Thereby, our project is applicable to a variety of fields from IoT to personal apps.  In the last years there has been a great shift to move cooperate infrastructure to the cloud. Although this shift reduced the cost it created new challenges and problems. These services now became more susceptible to network outages. In addition, the usability of the services now became dependent directly on the network’s capabilities. Our offline-first solution tries to combine the benefits of a desktop application together with current cloud infrastructure.  

What solution are you developing?

We came up with the idea when discussing how current collaborative solutions work. There is aways a caveat when merging structured data. However, we have discovered technologies out there which have default properties that can be applied to structured data in general. For instance, we use Git, which is popular in software development, and simplified it to be used across other domains. We combined Git with other technologies to give properties such as offline-first collaboration, fail-safe, and data interoperability.

Our solution is unique as it has multiple properties built in by default. It is also highly parallelizable such that you can build complex networks of peers and has fast data synchronization and verification. The target for our core solution is developers who do not want to build the backend from scratch. 

What are the next steps?

As the next step, we will focus on customer engagements to identify more concrete use cases for the Dybli Core. We are looking for pilot projects and/or industrial partnerships to strength our business. Once we have a market tested, we will look into VC funding rounds to accelerate our growth. We look forward to larger collaborations and working together with the DAPSI ecosystem.